Molecular immunology

ISAV infection promotes apoptosis of SHK-1 cells through a ROS/p38 MAPK/Bad signaling pathway.

PMID 25467801


The impact that the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) has on the immune response of Salmo salar, from the perspective of activating/inactivating cellular processes, is currently unknown. Therefore, the present study evaluated this interaction and found that SHK-1 cells infected with ISAV resulted in respiratory burst activation and the induction of a strong pro-apoptotic imbalance through an increased expression of the Bad protein and decreased transcripts of Bcl-xl. Interestingly, the pharmacological inhibition of the p38 MAPK protein through SB203580 blocked the production of reactive oxygen species, the activity of caspase 3, and the formation of apoptotic nuclei in SHK-1 cells. Additionally, when the NADPH oxidase complex, a producer of superoxide anions, was blocked through apocynin, decreased apoptotic activity was observed in infected cells without significant modifications to viral amplification. These results, together with bioinformatics analysis performed for the Bad gene of fugu, suggest that the ISA virus triggers a strong production of oxygen radicals capable of activating transduction signaling pathways and mediating the expression and activation of pro-apoptotic proteins through the p38 MAPK pathway, all of which results in the apoptosis of ISAV infected cells.